Arizona Rancher Who Charged Tourists to Access Grand Canyon Skywalk Jailed Over Altercation
Nigel Turner owns a swath of land that tourists legally pass through to access the Hualapai Tribe’s Skywalk Grand Canyon, the horseshoe-shaped, glass overhang offering unrivaled views of the canyon’s west side. Diamond Bar road off U.S. 93 cuts through Turner’s property; it is the primary gateway to the attraction.
In 2007 he won a lawsuit for a new road to be built, scheduled for completion last year. Angered that construction is still underway, he has started charging visitors to use Diamond Bar road to cross his ranch. Turner hired a security team, demanding $500 per tour bus, or $20 per adult and $10 per child, over Memorial Holiday weekend.
This week, Hualapai Tribal members took to protesting Turner’s “unethical” fee, calling it “highway robbery” of tourists who do not anticipate such a cost.
Turner claims the federal easement allowing access to his property has expired, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican. Federal officials contend otherwise. The parties will meet in mediation tomorrow.
Recently, Turner reportedly got in a dispute with one of the construction workers on the new road. Last night, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan arrested him for allegedly threatening, intimidating and harassing a construction worker, reported the Las-Vegas Review Journal.
When the worker told Turner that he did not have legal authority to give orders on the construction site, Turner allegedly answered, "I don’t need a Court order, I’ve got a gun."